Burda 2010-11-129: Sewing and First Fitting

originally published 1/27/11


I’ve developed a routine when sewing pants that works pretty well.  I knew I’d be handling these a lot, so I started by completly serge finishing the edges.  All of them.  Then I put the darts and the zipper in with permanent stitching.  I’ve decided to skip the pocket.  I want pockets in pants, but I’m not sure I’ll ever wear these pants.  I baste all the other seams together using Ruby’s A23 Basting stitch.  What a dream. I actually have to sew slowly.  The fabric slides in under and out the foot at too fast a pace.  I do wish it would allow me to Fix or secure the stitch at the beginning and end. But alas it beeps with annoyance when I have A23 selected and press the fix stitch.  I’m pretty sure a basting stitch is going to pull out at the beginning and end of each seam, so I circumvent Ruby’s inclination by pushing the reverse button at the beginning and end of the seams. I baste all together, except the waistband.  I step into and quickly discover that the waist itself is too large (So take that Lefty. Or was Lefty right? The calculations were off by being too large???)  I restitch the darts adding 1/8 at the top of the legs.  That 1/4″ at 4 darts and I’ve removed 1″ from the waist. Good. Right?


I baste the waistband, including the belt loops, and baste the hems at 1-1/4″ and try it on again.  Waist is still too large and hips are too tight. Oh and by the way, the pants are dragging the ground.  (What was that Lefty said about sucking calculations?) I rip out the waistband and add 2 more darts 1 on either side of the center back.  Then I rebasted the waistband in place.  I didn’t touch the hips.  Nope.  I’ve found that my pants must fit at the waist before I make any other changes.  One change always affects something else. I’ve too many times made several changes all at once; only to have to remove nearly all of them.  It does seem to be that fitting has to be completed in an order. I do mean completed. I can’t rush the process by tweaking several areas at once.


The waist now fits snugly.  The hips feel snug but look fine in the mirror.  The pants are still a little long but I decide not to alter them. I’m rather surprised that the hips look fine but feel snug.  I ask DH. He too feels that they look OK.  But I’m uneasy.  They feel snug, almost uncomfortable.  I’m also seeing that the crotch has small smiles and I’m asking myself  “Are the smiles because I need more hip room or a longer back crotch?” I used the crotch from my TNT pants pattern. I’m even wearing a pair of my TNT pants as I’m sewing this.  The TNT fits fine now and has through at least 3 other pairs of pants.  Why would the crotch be too short?


I’m not sure why I did the next thing. I let the hips out 3/8″ but I also nailed down that waistband complete with button and buttonhole.  I think it would have been much smarter to leave it basted until all the fitting was finished.  But I did and I can only hope I don’t regret this action.  I also basted the hems at 2″.  Then I took more pictures. 


Now before you see these photos,


  1. I haven’t given the pants a good pressing.  I’ve spent time on the darts and waistband, but the rest has only had a few shots of steam.  I don’t want to permanently press creases until I know I’m finished altering the pants.
  2. They feel comfortable
  3. I see wrinkles along the center-back-leg seams which I’m not sure if its a pressing issue or ease issue.
  4. I also think my crotch maybe a little too short. But why?  It’s the same crotch used in 3 other pants and one of those pants was an unyeilding wool/poly fabric.  That’s the one that should have given me problem.  This spongy fabric should be fine.  Somehow the TNT crotch in combination with the new pant is not quite working.  I can only let out the crotch about 1/8″. If it needs more than 1/4″ I’ll  add a gusset. But could it be that I still need a little more ease in the hip? Or is the back crotch length a little too short rather than the ledge being too short. In which case I could scoop the back a little.
  5. Except I think the front crotch might be a little too short.  I could take the waistband off again (oh no she groans. I knew I shouldn’t have nailed that waistband down. ) but I’m not getting more than 1/8 inch at the top of either crotch.
  6. 6 There is also a little bubble of fabric on the back mayber 1/2″-1″ below the waist band.  It’s like the back is being pushed up, which is caused by what?


Suggestions:  Please